Brief history of carbon dating

Radio carbon dating determines the age of ancient objects by means of measuring the amount of carbon-14 there is left in an object.A man called Willard F Libby pioneered it at the University of Chicago in the 50's. This is now the most widely used method of age estimation in the field of archaeology.This technique works well for materials up to around 50,000 years old.Each radioactive isotope decays by a fixed amount, and this amount is called the half-life.

Over the years, carbon 14 dating has also found applications in geology, hydrology, geophysics, atmospheric science, oceanography, paleoclimatology, and even biomedicine.However, once the organism dies, the amount of carbon-14 steadily decreases.By measuring the amount of carbon-14 left in the organism, it's possible to work out how old it is. The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and soon became a standard tool for archaeologists.Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.

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